Sanders, Warren Call Out FedEx for Paying $0 in Taxes After Trump Cuts

Democratic presidential candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both blasted FedEx and President Donald Trump's "corporate elite" tax cuts for allowing the courier giant to avoid paying any federal taxes.

The progressive 2020 hopefuls responded to a Sunday New York Times report that detailed how FedEx was able to reduce their federal taxes from $1.5 billion to $0 in just one year. The corporate mail titan used aggressive Washington lobbying tactics and vowed to boost capital investment as they pushed Trump and Republicans to approve his $1.5 trillion tax cut from 2017. Sanders and Warren have both made the cozy relationship between Trump and corporate America--at the expense of the average taxpayer--a central campaign focus.

Sanders and Warren highlighted how moderate Democrats and conservatives frequently claim the U.S. can't invest in middle-class taxpayers while offering trillions of dollars in tax breaks to massive corporations.

"We're told we can't afford to invest in the housing, health care and education our people need. Meanwhile, giant corporations are paying ZERO in federal income taxes. When we stand up to the corporate elite, we can make real change for our country," Sanders remarked on Twitter Sunday morning.

Warren, the Massachusetts senator and fellow Democratic hopeful, concurred in a separate tweet Sunday: "You're probably paying more in federal income taxes than a bunch of big American corporations that make billions of dollars. It's obscene. These companies love to wave the American flag, but they won't pitch in a dime to support the investments we make."

The Times report lays out how companies like FedEx never followed through on their promise to more heavily invest if they received tax windfalls from the federal government. "If anything, the companies that received the biggest tax cuts increased their capital investment by less, on average, than companies that got smaller cuts," the authors noted. FedEx founder and chief executive Frederick Smith claimed in 2017 on The Larry Kudlow Show that the U.S. would see a "renaissance of capital investment" if corporations received massive tax breaks--something the Times revealed has never happened.

Financial filings for FedEx show the company has saved more than $1.6 billion since the Trump tax cuts were passed in 2017. FedEx has paid $2 billion in total federal income taxes over the past decade. The company issued a statement calling it unfair for them to be judged for receiving such a massive tax break.

"FedEx invested billions in capital items eligible for accelerated depreciation and made large contributions to our employee pension plans," the company said in a statement. "These factors have temporarily lowered our federal income tax, which was the law's intention to help grow G.D.P., create jobs and increase wages."

Sanders has long lamented how Trump's failure to release his tax returns and reveal that he potentially paid nothing in income federal income tax is evidence of the corruption and corporate cronyism his campaign seeks to fight.

"This is exactly why so many millions of Americans are frustrated. They're angry, they're disgusted, at what they see as a corrupt political system in this country," Sanders said in October 2016, in the lead up to Trump's first-term election.

FedEx logo
The FedEx logo is displayed on the side of a delivery truck June 18, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Sanders, Warren Call Out FedEx for Paying $0 in Taxes After Trump Cuts | U.S.